Tunnel Vision: A Rock Ghost Story by Robert Daws – 5 star – a short read, full of suspense and atmosphere @RobertDaws @urbanbooks #review #BookReview #Mystery #Suspense #ShortBook

Tunnel Vision
By Robert Daws
Rated: 5 stars *****

I always said I wouldn’t read anything ghostly. I was adament about it. That has changed. I have discovered one more book starring Tamara Sullivan. This is a stand-alone book, but she is one of the main characters in The Rock, Poisoned Rock and The Killing Rock, which is a fantastic crime series, set in Gibraltar. Anyway, back to the book in-hand. This is a short book at 20 pages, so read on to find out what it’s all about and why it is worth 5 stars.

Tunnel Vision cover by Robert Daws

Blurb

A ‘DS Tamara Sullivan Short’
The Summer heat on the Rock of Gibraltar is intense, but deep within its dark interior, a chill horror awaits Detective Sargeant Tamara Sullivan. The shock of the supernatural sends the police officer into an emotional spin of pain and confusion. As a murder detective, Sullivan is used to the grisly truth of death. Can she come to terms with the possible fact that life – of a kind – survives its mortal bonds? This is her statement.

Review

This is a fantastic quick story, full of suspense and mystery. The length is perfect for anyone wanting a quick read. Readers are taken to an account of the events of 15th and 16th September 2016. The story starts in picturesque surroundings in Gibraltar and innocently enough, as the words float by with consumate ease. The story, then, very quickly changes pace, that and the atmosphere becomes very intense within the tunnel and not all is normal… An investigation is mounted to try to discover who it was within the tunnel and all turns more mysterious. It is far from your average journey through a tunnel. Read the book to find out more about what Tamara saw in the tunnel…

The inspiration for Tamara to be a police officer, also starts to materialise, as does her passion and determined personality. This is good, because then it really is okay if you’ve not read any of the actual series before or not, although hopefully this novella (although different from the novels), will whet your appetite to try others, since they are very much worth reading.
These are available from online sources, such as bookshops via online services – both large companies and indpendent bookshops and as e-books. Reviews of all Robert Daws Books (those featured below), can also be found on my blog.

 

#Review of A Conspiracy of Bones by Kathy Reichs – 5 stars @KathyReichs @simonschusteruk #AConspiracyofBones #thriller #RandomThingsTours #BlogTour

A Conspiracy of Bones
By Kathy Reichs
Rated: 5 stars *****

I am very excited to present my review on this brilliant blog tour for A Conspiracy of Bones by Global Bestselling author Kathy Reichs as it is such a terrific thriller, that is full of suspense, intense atmosphere and twists and turns. This is a book that has definitely been worth the wait for. Thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to join the tour. Thanks to Simon & Schuster (the publishing house) and Kathy Reichs for supplying the book to bloggers.
So, take a look and see more about the author, the blurb and the review

About the Author

Kathy Reichs Author Pic (1)Kathy Reichs’s first novel Déjà Dead was a number one bestseller and won the 1997 Ellis Award for Best First Novel. A Conspiracy of Bones is Kathy’s nineteenth entry in her series featuring forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan. Kathy was also a producer of the hit Fox TV series, Bones, which is based on her work and her novels.
Dr. Reichs is one of very few forensic anthropologists certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology. She served on the Board of Directors and as Vice President of both the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the American Board of Forensic Anthropology, and as a member of the National Police Services Advisory Council in Canada.
She divides her time between Charlotte, North Carolina, and Montreal, Québec.

 

Conspiracy of Bones Cover (1)

Blurb

Number One New York Times bestselling author Kathy Reichs returns with her nineteenth riveting novel featuring forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan, who must use all her tradecraft to discover the identity of a faceless corpse, its connection to a decade-old missing child case, and why the dead man had her phone number.

It’s sweltering in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Temperance Brennan, still recovering from neurosurgery following an aneurysm, is battling nightmares, migraines, and what she thinks might be hallucinations when she receives a series of mysterious text messages, each containing a new picture of a corpse that is missing its face and hands. Immediately, she’s anxious to know who the dead man is, and why the images were sent
to her.
An identified corpse soon turns up, only partly answering her questions.
To win answers to the others, including the man’s identity, she must go rogue. With help from a number of law enforcement associates including her Montreal beau Andrew Ryan and the always-ready-with-a-smart-quip, ex-homicide investigator Skinny Slidell, and utilizing new cutting-edge forensic methods, Tempe draws closer to the astonishing truth.
But the more she uncovers, the darker and more twisted the picture
becomes …

Conspiracy of Bones Flat Cover (1)

Review

I like to look at every single page in a book and I bet most other readers too, but ensure you do in this book as there is a great quote to set the mood, by Virginia Woolf. Check out the clever inner flap with the blurb and the eerie picture just inside the cover too. I love the ingenuity and creativity of how it is all presented, which is why it deserves a mention here.

This is an excellently plotted book, from start to finish. After you have read the last chapter, read the added extra part called “From the Forensic Files of Kathy Reichs” to discover more about her writing of A Conspiracy of Bones and also herself. She is normally a very private person, but here, she divulges some intresting information for her readers.

Readers are in for a thrilling read with these short, sharp and well-constructed chapters. This is an excellent book, but I would like to say, I especially love that opening paragraph about different types of people. That sort of thing does draw me nearer (not that I am a nosey person, just curious) to a book at times. I immediately also want to know what sort of person the narrator of this story is in personality – a stretchy or brittle person. The opening page certainly shows that a person can have a lot to deal with and how the more abnormal life events are affecting her mental health.

Temperence Brennan is a forensic anthropologist who is recovering from neurosurgery after an aneurysm had been found. What follows are strange texts and possible hallucinations. The book is chilling and sinister in atmosphere as it twists and turns.

Things are certainly not easy for Temperence. There is a new head of department – Dr. Heavner and things get heated between them. Working relationships are often interesting, with all sorts of dynamics and personalities and this book still holds interest in that.
There is also a new case, which means tracking down the identification of a dead body that is so indistinguishable and using every skill, even if this is going against her boss, who doesn’t want her on the case. This doesn’t stop her though as she digs deeper to try and find out information, even as it leads her to investigate the darker side of the internet, with its abhorrent of characters trying to lure people in with their dangerous conspiracy theories about many subjects and leaked autopsy pictures and more…

There is an eerie and intense feeling that builds as the book goes on as someone could be onto Temperence as she tries to solve the case. Kathy Reich’s is good at creating such an atmosphere, that makes you want to read on. This is the case throughout the book. It is also very well-written from the forensic side of the case.

The pace of the book is fast, but the intrigue still has time to build, so nothing is lost, there are still the nuances and the setting the scene well. It’s no mean feat in getting that just right and Kathy Reichs is amongst those authors who nails it!

Here is the rest of the tour to follow too.

Conspiracy of Bones BT Poster (1)

Review of Deep Dark Night by Steph Broadribb 5 Stars @CrimeThrillGirl @OrendaBooks #DeepDarkNight #TeamLori #GirlPower #Thriller #LoriAnderson #BlogTour #Review #RandomThingsTours @AnneCater

Deep Dark Night
By Steph Broadribb
Rated: 5 stars *****

About the Author

Steph Broadribb Author PicSteph Broadribb was born in Birmingham and grew up in Buckinghamshire.
Most of her working life has been spent between the UK and USA.
She is a member of the crime-themed girl band The Splice Girls.
Steph is an alumni of the MA in Creative Writing (Crime Fiction) at City University London, and she trained as a bounty hunter in California, which inspired her Lori Anderson thrillers.
She lives in Buckinghamshire surrounded by horses, cows and chickens.
Her debut thriller, Deep Down Dead, was shortlisted for the Dead Good Reader Awards in two categories, was a finalist in the ITW Awards, and hit number one on the UK and AU kindle charts. The sequels, Deep Blue Trouble and Deep Dirty Truth soon followed suit.
My Little Eye, her first novel under her pseudonym Stephanie Marland, was published by Trapeze Books in April 2018.

Follow Steph on Twitter @CrimeThrillGirl and on Facebook facebook.com/CrimeThrillerGirl or visit her website: crimerthrillergirl.com

Blurb

Fearless Florida bounty-hunter Lori Anderson travels to Chicago to trap the head of a notorious crime family, in a high-stakes, nail-biting mission that sees her trapped in one of the city’s tallest buildings during a blackout…

A city in darkness. A building in lockdown. A score that can only be settled in blood…

Working off the books for FBI Special Agent Alex Monroe, Florida bounty-hunter Lori Anderson and her partner, JT, head to Chicago. Their mission: to entrap the head of the Cabressa crime family. The bait: a priceless chess set that Cabressa is determined to add to his collection.

An exclusive high-stakes poker game is arranged in the penthouse suite of one of the city’s tallest buildings, with Lori holding the cards in an agreed arrangement to hand over the pieces, one by one. But, as night falls and the game plays out, stakes rise and tempers flare.

When a power failure plunges the city into darkness, the building goes into lockdown. But this isn’t an ordinary blackout, and the men around the poker table aren’t all who they say they are. Hostages are taken, old scores resurface and the players start to die.

And that’s just the beginning…

‘A real cracker’ Mark Billingham

‘Fast, confident and suspensful’ Lee Child

‘Like Midnight Run, but much darker … really, really good’ Ian Rankin

Deep Dark Night final cover

 

Review

I like that this is a book that is published to co-incide with International Women’s Month.

So compelling a suspensful thriller with a fast pace, this is. It is such a page-turner.

Who is Herron, whose identity is hidden.

From the off, I want to know what is lurking in the basement. What secrets can there be. I know, basements and you think of horror. This is however a thriller, so apart from instantly thinking “don’t go down there.” I am as curious as the kids wanting to go there, despite warnings from their parents in the prologue.

Readers then meet, FBI Special Agent Alex Monroe in Chicago and he has a particular interest in Cabressa and the valuable chess pieces he wants for his collection. When more pages are turned and read, the magnitude of these chess pieces become more apparent. They are far from the standard chess pieces and their value is incredibly huge. It’s the start of setting the scene, which is done fast. In comes Lori and JT. Lori needs Alex to be off her back and feels she may be forever in his debt, so she, working off the books, to try and nail Cabressa. Critten is far from pleasant and Lori gives as good as she gets back to him, with his bad remarks. I get the sense that Lori is written to be a strong woman, this much is clear in that she isn’t going to put up with any nonsense and can certainly stand up for herself. The sense of character that comes so quickly is testament to the writing.

After a tense game of poker, it seems that it’s quite a hot relationship between JT and Lori. It’s written well. It’s not at all cringeworthy, which is a good thing.

As locations need to be looked at and there are people to be met, there are gadgets to be used, just to add another layer.

High stake poker games are played, but even if you have never played before, you still get the sense of the importance of the games.
The setting, created by Steph with the family mob against the backdrop of the Skyland Tower is highly sophisticated and the tension is high. The tension is higher still when a chess piece is missing and all power at a vital moment fails and sees Lori in some trouble.

It gets even more interesting when over a tannoy system, people are told that in the company is a theif, a bankrupt, a killer, an illigitimate child, Herron so on. The change in atmosphere to one of paranoia, threat and entrapment becomes very apparent. The writing is really great and captures the mind’s eye perfectly and also leaves you needing to quickly turn the pages to see what will happen next. The fact that Herron is not known, also keeps the suspense going. There are more games and tales of untruths spun as the story goes on.

There’s low oxygen, a gun and no easy way out. All the while, the suspense is mounting.

After all the action, the end is rather satisfying and there is, within that last chapter a little bit of unexpected heartwarmth in how a home is described.

Deep Dark Night BT Poster

 

 

 

Happy World Book Day #WorldBookDay 2020 #Books #Bookish #CrimeFiction #Fiction #NonFiction #Kidslit #PictureBook #HistoricalFiction #History #Romance #Biography #ContemporaryFiction

Happy World Book Day 2020

Happy World Book Day and I hope that everyone is having a fabulous day, however you are celebrating. There are many author events going on around the UK in public and community libraries as well as schools. There are also lots of other bookish events too that can be participated in as you read for pleasure. There are also other ways you can participate in World Book Day, if you cannot attend an event, such as, curling up with a good book and leaving an author a review on Waterstones and Amazon.

Today I am attending a World Book Day Event to hear a talk by rising star Alison Belsham, author of The Tattoo Thief and then it will be my turn to host an event up here in Scotland too on Monday with Liz Treacher – author of The Wrong Envelope and The Wrong Direction.

I also have some great books in my review pile for both adult and children that are being published between this month and summer.

In the pile I am currently reading are fiction and non-fiction books. In no particular order of publication or review dates, look out for book one of a new series by Ben Kane – Made in Battle, Forged in War; Us Three by Ruth Jones (yes, the actor/writer from Gavin and Stacey and author of Never Greener); Eileen – The Making of George Orwell, Eileen was his wife, but not much is known about her, until now…; Paper Sparrows; A Conspiracy of Bones – the latest book by Kathy Reichs; I return to reviewing again for Lesley Kelly for her book Murder at the Music Factory – the latest in the health of Strangers series (read as a series or stand alone); I return to The Bobby Girls series to review the latest book – The Bobby Girl’s Secrets to see what the police volunteers are up to in their second and newest book.

I return to Janey Louise Jones children’s books to see what else Princess Poppy has in store now she has worked out how to save the bees. This time she is tackling plastic. I also will be reviewing for a charity Helping Hands who have had the Duchess of York on board to craete books  about how to tackle bullying, first days at school and strangers. There is a fantasy book to continue the series about Akra The Healing Stone, by Vacyn Taylor and a new book – Snow Child by a new author – Larraine Harrison.

This is just a few of the books sitting on my pile to date that you will start to see full reviews for soon. So, lots of books for you to look forward to exploring and to see what I think of. Coming up very soon are some children’s books and then an adult thriller that Lee Child and many other authors have a lot of praise for.

I of course thank all the authors, publishers and blog tour organisers for all these amazing opportunities to review and of course I thank just as equally, the readers of my blog as without everyone, my blog couldn’t exist.

The Guest List by Lucy Foley – Rated 5 Stars – Keeps you guessing right to the end @LucyFoleyTweets @HarperCollinsUK #RandomThingsTours #TheGuestList #CrimeFiction #BlogTour #Review

The Guest List
By Lucy Foley
Rated: 5 Stars *****

The brand-new thriller from the Sunday Times No.1 bestselling author of The
Hunting Party, one of the fastest selling & highly acclaimed debut thrillers of 2019

I am so pleased and excited to be part of this wonderful blog tour. What a terrific book. Just Wow!!! I loved it and could not put it down. Thanks so much to Anne Cater for inviting me to the blog tour and thank you and the publisher – Harper Collins for a print copy of The Guest List by critically acclaimed author Lucy Foley for me to review. My friends joke that I do not sleep, well I certainly slept less than normal reading this book, it is that good! There are twists and turns and an all-consuming atmosphere and characters you want to read about. Get ready for a far from normal wedding night, where not everyone will survive. I highly recommend it. Read on for the blurb and my full review.

About the Author

Guest List Lucy Foley Author PicLucy Foley studied English Literature at Durham and UCL universities and worked for several years as a fiction editor in the publishing industry, before leaving to write full-time.
The Hunting Party, an instant Sunday Times and Irish Times no.1 bestseller, was Lucy’s debut crime novel, inspired by a particularly remote spot in Scotland that fired her imagination. Lucy is also the author of three historical novels, which have been translated into sixteen languages.
Her journalism has appeared in ES Magazine, Sunday Times Style, Grazia and more.

Blurb

Guests are called to a remote island off the Irish coast to celebrate the wedding of the year – the marriage of Jules and Will. Everything has been meticulously planned, the scene is set, old friends are back together.
It should be the perfect day.
Until the discovery of a body signals the perfect murder.
A groom with a secret.
A bridesmaid with a grudge.
A plus one with motive.
A best man with a past.
It could be any, it could be all . . . But one guest won’t make it out
alive.

The Guest List Cover

Review

The book starts on the wedding night. The atmosphere is created instantly. I have not read any of Lucy Foley’s previous books, although watched with much interest as many people had great things to say about her writing. I feel so lucky to have the privilege to review her latest book – The Guest List. Just a few words in and there is already an eerieness that you would not expect on a wedding night.

The book skillfully introduces each of the main players of this wedding in individual chapters and goes through them one by one and back to them, as well as their being specifically wedding day chapters. There is Aoife the Wedding Planner, Jules the Bride, Johnno the Best Man and Olivia the Bridesmaid and Hannah the Plus One.

It should be the happiest night – the wedding night. You would maybe expect dancing, jovial conversation, love…. This however, is no ordinary night on this remote island…

Aoife and her other half – Freddie are interesting characters. In Aiofe, there is an insight to being a wedding planner and some of it is profoundly thought-provoking. She throws up questions about how much do couples really know each other and how much is hidden, even from a loved one. The 15th century Folly they have restored sounds beautiful. The descriptions make it sound elegant and captures a warm feeling around its grandeur and beauty, except it is on an island with an unsavoury past, which is learnt through guests, Charlie (who is married to the plus one – Hannah) and Mattie.

There’s a strange friendship between the groom – Will and best man – Johnno and I am even more intrigued as to why the bride things something may not be quite right.

Olivia, the bridesmaid has a difficult time and has reasons to tell lies and also holds a grudge.

With Champagne flowing and a bit of weed, the emotions rise and the secrets start to come out. There is also an intriguing warning note about the groom, just to heighten the curiosity and the need to keep reading onwards.

Lucy Foley has a skill to know just when to add to the intrigue, to add another layer and to add to that need to read some more. She has all the skill base of Agatha Christie. That ability to lure you into a web of red-herrings and secrets and lies and yet, even though on a remote island a murder has been committed, which of course is terrible, the book makes you feel all cosy and want to curl up with it whatever location you’re in.

The nuances in her characters expressions are so well-observed. The bride at one point looks how you would perhaps expect her to look, but a slight difference in the mouth tells a different story, of something hiding underneath. A word or two says it all or makes you question and wonder will come next. 

The tension levels are very good as some huge secrets start to be discovered. On one hand I don’t want the book to end, on the other, I really want to see how it does all end.

The characters are ones to follow and I loved getting to know more about them as the story goes on.

The ending is terrifically done. This book does not disappoint.

The book is as good as what is known as the Golden-Age in crime and is brought right up-to-date. It is an immersive and extremely well-crafted crime book. Each part wants you to turn the page.

This is an un-putdownable book. Beauty sleep? What is that again? Forget sleep and read instead. I was so absorbed that I had forgotten all about the time that had raced ahead without me even noticing. I highly recommend this book and I would read more by Lucy Foley. She’s one to watch and worth having in your crime collection.

Follow the rest of the tour and thanks for joining me on my slot…

FINAL Guest List Blog Tour Poster

 

 

Review of The Rise of the Rays by Wes Markin @MarkinWes @CazVinBooks #CrimeFiction #Thriller #Review #BlogTour

The Rise of The Rays
By Wes Markin
Rated: 4 stars ****

Today is my turn on The Rise of the Rays blog tour. Thanks to Caroline Vincent and Wes Markin for the invite and the proof-copy. I’ve reviewed most of this series now and there is plenty of suspense, especially in this well-written, fast-paced thriller that will make you want to keep turning those pages.

About the Author

Rise of the Rays Wes Markin Author Image (1)Wes Markin is a hyperactive English teacher, who loves writing crime fiction with a twist of the macabre.

Having finished the fourth instalment in the DCI Yorke series, Rise of the Rays, Wes is now working on the fifth instalment of DCI Yorke’s wild ride. He is also the author of Defined, a prequel to his DCI Yorke novels, which takes the reader back to his blood-soaked university days.

Born in 1978, Wes grew up in Manchester, UK. After graduating from Leeds University, he spent fifteen years as a teacher of English, and has taught in Thailand, Malaysia and China. Now as a teacher, writer, husband and father, he is currently living in Harrogate, UK.

Wes Markin on Social Media  

                                       Links:
Twitter                                      twitter.com/MarkinWes
Facebook Author Page       
http://www.facebook.com/WesMarkinAuthor
Goodreads Author Page     
bit.ly/GRtoWesMarkin

Blurb

Wes Markin’s most heart-pounding and dark thriller yet

They say that lightening doesn’t strike the same place twice. How the people of Wiltshire wished that were true.

When Paul Ray decides to burn down his evil family’s legacy, he falls into the clutches of those he thought gone.

And now Detective Yorke and his team face a race against time to find Paul before Wiltshire again falls under the dark spell of a ruthless family.

Unfortunately for Yorke, the answers lie in the most sinister of places. The beating heart of a long-dead killer.

Can Yorke find the truth before it’s too late? Or will the curse of the Ray family prove too strong?

Rise of the Rays book cover (1)

Review

Today I welcome back the Detective Yorke books. I have had the privilege of reviewing a few in this series now. I thought The Silence of Severance was dark and yet gripping, but wait until you get the chance to read this one. It goes even deeper and darker into what sort of family the Rays were/are. They aren’t a family to be messed around with, nor the type you would want to meet or be involved with. Wiltshire is about to be under this mean family’s spell yet again and it is most definitely a county in trouble if it does. There are some quite chilling scenes and can get pretty gory at times. Even though, perhaps the faint-hearted may find Wes Markin’s books a bit much, they are a compulsive read because there is always enough to make you wonder what is next. There is also plenty of suspense within this book. There is generally suspense within this series, but there seems even more so in this one.
The ending is an intriguing ending. Book 5 is already for pre-order, I am told and I have a feeling the end to book 4 will lead onto book 5, just a bit.

I would say it is probably good to read the series from the beginning, but there is also however, enough written about previous events to remind readers about what happened previously or to be introduced to the series and the characters involved.

The book isn’t all just about the crime, like those previous in the series, it shows the police characters lives outside trying to solve the case. They have their personal issues to deal with. I still like this, it shows they are human and life has many strands to it.

I have been invited to review on blog tours for Wes Markin’s books  from book 2 – The Repenting Serpent and haven’t been disappointed yet. The quality of the writing is good and gets better the more the Wes Markin writes too. The premise of the plots and the characters are very good. All in all, this is a series you can really get stuck into and have that anticipation of wanting to know what will happen next to the characters.
If you like your books fast-paced, dark and intriguing, this is the series for you.
You will also have to check the book out to see if Detective Yorke will find Paul or not…

Below is a list of the series so far:

#1 One Last Prayer for the Rays          
#2 The Repenting Serpent                       

#3 The Silence of Severance

#4 Rise of the Rays

Enjoy following the rest of the tour.

Rise of the Rays Blog Tour Poster 2.0 (2)